A comparison of aggressive-rejected and nonaggressive-rejected children's interpretations of self-directed and other-directed rejection.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The hypothesis that aggressive-rejected children are unaware of their social status because they are self-protective when processing negative peer feedback was tested in 3 studies. In Study 1, fourth-grade girls and boys were asked to name peers they liked or disliked, as well as peers they thought liked or disliked them. Comparisons of aggressive-rejected, nonaggressive-rejected, and average status groups revealed that aggressive-rejected children were more unrealistic in their assessments of their social status than were nonaggressive-rejected children. In Study 2, rejected and average boys identified in Study 1 were asked to name who they thought liked or disliked other children from their classroom. Comparisons of perceived and actual nominations for peers revealed that aggressive-rejected children were able to assess the social status of others as well as did nonaggressive-rejected and average status children. Because the difficulties aggressive-rejected children demonstrated in Study 1 did not generalize to judging the status of others in Study 2, the self-protective hypothesis was supported. Study 3 provided a parallel test of this hypothesis under more controlled conditions. Subjects from Study 2 viewed other children receiving rejection feedback from peers in videotaped interactions and received similar feedback themselves from experimental confederates. While all subjects rated self-directed feedback somewhat more positively than other-directed feedback, aggressive-rejected subjects had the largest self-favoring discrepancy between their judgments of self- and other-directed feedback. These findings also suggest that aggressive-rejected children may make self-protective "errors" when judging other children's negative feelings about them. Ethnicity differences in evaluating peer feedback emerged in Studies 1 and 3, raising questions about the impact of minority status on children's evaluations of rejection feedback.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zakriski, AL; Coie, JD

Published Date

  • June 1996

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 1048 - 1070

PubMed ID

  • 8706509

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-8624

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-3920

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1996.tb01782.x


  • eng